The online investment platform AJ Bell has been experiencing a period of steady growth and has just seen its assets under administration reach £70.4 billion. The value of investments they manage rose by 8% in the three months to June 2021 (Q3) and increased by 30% from June 2020 to June 2021.
Gains from both the platform and the investment business in Q3 contributed to this growth. Platform assets rose by 9% while the investment assets saw a huge rise of 43%, reaching £2 billion. This comes after AJ Bell reported a profit-before-tax rise of 39% in the six months up to March 2021.
The number of users rose by more than 21,000 in Q3, bringing the total customer base to more than 368,000. The platform has been particularly successful in attracting younger investors, notably through their Responsible Growth fund.
AJ Bell CEO, Andy Bell, partially credited the growth to the introduction of new, simple pension options that have been popular among financial advisers. He also commented on the popularity of their in-house investment solutions, and the rise in interest in investing during the pandemic.
He added: “We continue to see growing numbers of younger people joining the platform as they look to take control of their long-term financial future via pensions and ISAs.”
AJ Bell’s progress is not expected to slow down
Bell predicts that they are well positioned to continue enjoying their growth and success. From October 2020 to March 2021, the platform recorded a total of 51,492 new users, bringing the average age of YouInvest users to 38.
He said: “Covid has been a wake-up call for people to take control of their finances and I think that is here to stay.”
AJ Bell aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of more people investing during the pandemic. Hargreaves Lansdown recorded an increase of 84,000 active clients between 30 June and 31 December 2020. Interactive Investor recorded 31,667 new clients in the first half of 2021, up 33% on the same period in 2020.
Earlier this year, AJ Bell acquired investment platform Adalpha to broaden their services for financial advisers. At the time, Andy Bell said, “Financial advisers need a variety of propositions to match a diverse range of client needs.
“The Adalpha team are working on a simplified, mobile focused platform service that will broaden our offering to financial advisers and help them service a wider base of clients.”
Now rebranded to “Touch by AJ Bell”, the secondary investment platform will be released in phases, starting at the end of this year. Both platforms will be accessible to their clients side-by-side once “Touch” is available.
AJ Bell is currently listed among the frontrunners in our list of the best UK trading platforms, with its standout quality being how easy it is to use.